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Whitney Houston Passes Away at 48

One of the most beloved singers of her time, Whitney Houston, The Voice, passed away on Saturday, February 11th. Houston was in her hotel room preparing for Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards party set to take place within hours. Houston was found in her room at the Beverly Hiton Hotel submerged in the bathtub and when paramedics arrived on the scene, attempts to revive her failed. She was pronounced dead at approxamitely 4:00 P.M. and police claimed there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent.” The cause of death is still under investigation.

The death of Houston saw an outpouring of grief and sadness by loved ones, fans, and fellow artists. It reminded the world why they fell in love with her magical voice when she first set the music world on fire in 1985. Born on August 9, 1963 to John and Cissy Houston, Whitney came from a musical family. Cissy was a professional singer who was often on tour, while Houston’s cousin was the singer Dionne Warwick. Whitney Houston grew up surrounded by musical greatness.

She was discovered by Clive Davis, head of Arista Records, and was signed to the label in 1983. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1985 and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It remained sealed to that position for an outstanding 14 weeks. The singles, “You Give Good Love,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “How Will I Know” helped make Houston a household name. Another single from the album, “Saving All My Love For You,” won Houston her first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. The award was presented to her by her cousin, Dionne Warwick.

On her sophmore album, “Whitney,” Houston scored another number one with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” also hit number one. Houston had earned seven consecutive number one singles, breaking a record previously held by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Houston formed The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children in 1989. It’s a non-profit organization that raises money to aid children who are homeless, even ill with cancer or AIDS. “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” Houston’s third album, was released in 1990. A year later, she delivered a mind-blowing performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV.

Houston’s next avenue was one that she had previously visited breifly in the early eightes after appearing on sitcoms. However, she never landed a role in a feature film until Kevin Costner asked Whitney to star alongside him in “The Bodyguard.” It was an opportunity Houston was reluctant to take at first, but Costner waited as long as he could until she was ready. The film was released in 1992 and became a major success. The soundtrack featured Houston’s now-signature song, “I Will Always Love You.” The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the album became the best-selling soundtrack album of all time, selling over 44 million copies worldwide.

On July 18, 1992, Houston married R&B singer Bobby Brown. On March 4, 1993, Houston gave birth to their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown. Houston’s success continued with roles in “Waiting to Exhale” in 1995 and “The Preacher’s Wife” in 1996. The films also had adjoining soundtracks with songs sung by Houston. Her first studio album in eight years came in 1998 when “My Love Is Your Love” was released. The album’s first single was a duet with Mariah Carey for the film, “The Prince of Egypt.” The song, “When You Believe,” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The album also featured the hits, “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and the title track.

By the start of the new decade, rumors of drug use ran rampant in the tabliods. Houston’s frail appearance at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Trbute concert caused the public to worry about her health. In 2002, Houston released the “Just Whitney” album. It debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and gave Houston the highest opening week sales of her career. However, by her standards, the album was a commercial disappointment, selling approxamitely three million copies worlwide.

In 2004, Houston entered a rehabilitation facility to get treatment for her drug addiction. In 2005, she starred alongside husband, Bobby Brown, on the reality show, “Being Bobby Brown.” The show shocked viewers, causing harm to Houston’s public image. In 2006, Houston filed for divorce from Brown in October 2006. Many fans hoped this would be Whitney’s opportunity to return to music. In 2009, she earned another number one album with “I Look to You.” To promote the album, Houston gave a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey where she opened up about her marriage, drug use, and other personal topics. Houston further promoted the album with the “Nothing but Love World Tour.” The shows received negative reviews from critics and fans alike, claiming Houston’s voice wasn’t the same as it was in her glory days.

Houston began work on the film “Sparkle” alongside Jordin Sparks. The film is set for release in August 2012. Her death came the night before the Grammy Awards and producers wondered what to do to pay tribute to the fallen singer. Jennifer Hudson came on stage during the show and sang Houston’s classic, “I Will Always Love You.” It was a mere two years after Hudson sang for Houston herself when she was honored at the 2010 BET Honors.

The music world has lost one of the most memorable voices in the history of music. Whitney Houston will go down in music history as one of the greatest talents of her generation. Despite her personal stuggles, Houston always lifted people’s spirits with her music and films. She leaves behind an impressive musical legacy that extends beyond time. Whitney Houston’s voice is timeless and will be admired by music lovers for generations to come. When it comes to real legends, they never die.

Those looking forward to both Madonna’s “MDNA” and Adam Lambert’s “Trespassing” were in Heaven this morning as their new music videos premiered.

First, we’ve got Madonna’s video for the first single off “MDNA,” (out March 26th) “Give Me All Your Luvin’ (Feat. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj). The demo version leaked sometime last year and didn’t feature M.I.A. or Minaj. I, personally, don’t care for rap music, so I was a bit upset when I heard Madonna recrutied them to be on the song. Thankfully, their parts are very quick and don’t ruin the spirit of the song for me. I was also pleased with the video, which has a football/cheerleaders theme. Those of you who are educated in all things Madge will know that she was a cheerleader for her high school’s football team. It is timely since on Sunday, The Queen will take the stage headlining the Super Bowl halftime show. The video is very funny and has a sense of humor. This is something that seems to have been lacking in most of Madonna’s recent work. For a long time, she used her work as a platform to make statements on Kabbalah, politics, as well as the disease and poverty in Africa. While it’s good to be vocal about making the world a better place, it’s nice to see Madonna doing something more light. It’s refreshing and a welcome change of pace. She has surely scored a touchdown with this video!

Next up, we have Adam Lambert’s new video for “Better Than I Know Myself.” It’s the first single off his new album, “Trespassing,” out March 20th. The song is a big ballad showcasing Lambert’s trademark vocals. It’s definitely a hit, sure to become a radio staple just like “Whataya Want From Me,” a hit off Lambert’s debut. The lyrics talk about a plea for acceptance. One might think it’s about a relationship with another person, and it very well could be. But the video takes it a step further and puts an unexpected twist on the track. It is a love story, but it’s one that deals with the love you have for yourself. In the video, Lambert is struggling between his “light” side and his “dark” side. The two realize in the end, they both need each other in order to live. It’s a wonderful, artistic statement about forgiving yourself for the mistakes you make sometimes. We all do. We’re all human.

Hopefully, Lambert releases some fun, sexy, dance tracks as future singles. It’s smart of him to release such a commercially safe song as the first single (especially given the reaction to his “American Music Awards” performance and success of “Whataya Want From Me”), but I’m a fan of his more risque, provocative side as well. It would make for another pretty cool video, too!

So, it looks like 2012 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year for new music!